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A SCRIPTURE FAREWELL *.
BRETHREN, the principal design of our assembling ourselves together to-day has been answered. We have been allowed-all thanks to the long-suffering and mercy of our God!-we have been allowed to celebrate, in peace and comfort, our Christian passover. We are now about speedily to separate, with the probability, or rather with the certainty, of never all meeting again, till we meet before the tribunal of the Almighty Judge. What a solemn consideration! Since we last met on a similar occasion, more than one who sat down with us at the table of the Lord have passed into the invisible state. It is beyond the reach of human foresight to tell whose doom shall next be sealed. It must be one of us,—it may be any of us.
It is natural for the imagination, on such an occasion, to anticipate the circumstances of our next general meeting. How prodigiously numerous, how awfully solemn, the assembly! How important the business to be transacted! How serious the final separation !
* The author conceives it right to remark here, that this Address is principally the filling up of an outline which he met with among the unpublished MSS. of his grandfather, the late Rev. John Brown of Haddington.
From that assembly not one of the countless millions of the human race shall retire thoughtless or unimpressed. The most frivolous and unconcerned now, shall be then deeply and eternally serious.
Under the impression that I am certainly parting with some of you, and as I am equally mortal with you, that I may be parting with all of you for a long, long series of ages, till we meet at the right hand or the left of Jesus the Judge, I would call the attention, not only of those who have been communicating, but of all who now hear me, to a 66 message from God to them." I shall call to your remembrance some most important truths-propose some most serious questions: -utter some most alarming warnings-make some most gracious offers of salvation-offer some useful advices-and conclude with some earnest good wishes. And, as I shall endeavour not only to express script ral ideas, but to use almost wholly scriptural language, I not only request, but I command you, as you value your soul's salvation, to be attentive. The voice is, on earth, but the speaker is in heaven: "The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silent before him."-"O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord."
1st, Let me call to your remembrance some most important truths. Brethren, I declare unto you the gospel, which I have preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached you, unless ye have believed in vain. God so loved the world, as to give his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life. It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, even the chief. Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures. He gave him
self for us a sacrifice and an offering, that he might rédeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. The righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;-even the righteousness of God, which is by the faith of Christ unto all and upon all them who believe, for there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Being justified freely through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth a propitiation through faith in his blood, declaring his righteousness; that he may be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus. To you is this word of salvation sent. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Of them to whom much is given much shall be required. If our gospel beraid, it is hid to them who are lost; whose unbelieving minds the god of this world hath blinded, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine into them. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. It is appointed to all men once to die, and after death the judgment. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to give an account of the deeds done in the body, that we may receive according to what we have done, whether it be good or whether it be evil. Then shall the wicked go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous unto life eternal *"
1 Cor. xv. 1, 2; John iii. 16; 1 Tim. i. 15; 1 Cor. xv. 3; Eph. v. 2; Tit. ii. 14. Rom. iii. 21-26; Acts xiii. 26; 2 Cor. vi. 7; Luke xii. 48; Matt. vii, 14; John iii. 3; Heb. ix. 27; Rom. xiv. 10; Matt. xxv. 46,
2d, Let me propose to you a few most serious questions. What change in your religious state and character have you undergone? Were you alive without the law once, but, when the commandment came, did sin revive, and you die? Were "ye once darkness, but are ye now light in the Lord ?" Have ye been born again? Are ye still "dead in trespasses and in sins," or have ye been " quickened by the God, who is rich in mercy, together with Christ Jesus ?" Did you once "yield yourselves as the servants of sin, and your members to sin as the instruments of unrighteousness; but do you now yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members to holiness as instruments of righteousness?" What choice have you made? Have you chosen "that good part which shall never be taken from you? Have you counted all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord? Have you counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of the world? Have you made choice of God's testimonies above all riches? Instead of saying with the multitude, Who will shew us any good? is the language of your heart, "Lord lift on us the light of thy countenance t? What purpose have you formed? Is it the "full purpose of your heart to cleave unto the Lord? Is it your determination that you and your houses shall serve the Lord? Is it your resolution, This God shall be our God for ever and ever: He shall be our guide even unto death ‡?" At what end do you chiefly aim? Is it "that God may in all things be glorified through our Lord Jesus Christ? Whether
* Rom. vii. 9.; Eph. v. 8. ; ii. 1.; Rom. vi. 13.
+Luke x. 42.; Phil. iii. 8.; Heb. xi. 26.; Psal. cxix. 173;
Acts xi. 23.; Josh. xxiv. 15.; Psal. xlviii. 14.
ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do ye do all to the glory of God * ?” What kind of a life do you lead? Is the life which you live in the flesh by the faith of the Son of God, who loved you, and gave himself for you? Are you pilgrims and sojourners on the earth, declaring plainly, that they are seeking a country, a better country, that is, an heavenly +?" Finally, What provision have you made for death, and for a fu ture state? Do you know in whom ye have believ ed, and are you persuaded that he is able to keep that which you have committed to him? Have ye laid up a good foundation for the time to come, to lay hold on eternal life? Have ye that Holy Spirit of promise who is the earnest of your inheritance? and, Are yè sealed by him till the redemption of the purchased possession?"
3d, Let me now direct your attention to some most alarming warnings. "Know ye not that the unrigh teous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. If we sin wilfully, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth now no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of vengeance and fiery indignation to destroy the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment shall he be accounted worthy, who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and accounted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and done de spite to the Spirit of grace? The earth which, being
1 Pet. iv. 11. ; 1 Cor. x. 31.
+ Gal. ii. 20.; Heb. xi. 13-16.
2 Tim. i. 12.; 1 Tim. vi. 19.; Eph. i. 14.